Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hanging wih Carmen Sandiego

Where in the World is Stephon Marbury?

Apparently he is back in NYC this morning. Maybe eating breakfast right now. Maybe packing a bag to fly out to LA to play against the Clippers tonight. Maybe packing a bag to fly to Italy to play against La Fortezza tonight. Maybe he is just driving around in his truck thinking about old times. Who knows? Not me. And, not any of the intrepid writers who are on the case.

Is this just about Marbury being benched because of his play at the end of the Miami game? Is this about Dolan brining the hammer down on Isiah who is scapegoating his former pupil? Is this about an underachieving player who has just lost his desire? Is this a coach's teribbly executed plan at motivating one of his most gifted players? Is this about a sexual harrasment case in which Marbury's testimony didn't do anyone at MSG any favors?

Whatever it is about it isn't about winning basketball games. That much is clear after watching last night's game. Even if Steph's defense is porous he is still a better player than either Nate or Mardy. That is just a fact of the game. Nate is more exciting to watch and Mardy could, at some point, be better at keeping opposing players from getting into the paint, but neither is going to give the team a better chance to win tomorrow. Neither is likely to average 19 and 7. Oscar Robertson did that. Magic Johnson did that. Isiah Thomas did that. Stephon Marbury does that. And, lest we forget, almost every other player in the rotation prior to last night is subpar on the defensive end. Only Lee and Balkman are nominally considered D-oriented. And Lee still has a ways to come with his one-on-one defense. Q can play defense (and frequently does) but he is still a scorer first. So, that leaves Marbury with plenty of company in ineptitude.

According to Isola in the NEWS, Curry was also set to start last night's game on the bench before Steph flew back to NY. That makes a bit more sense. For all of his shortcomings as a player, it is hard to pin the team's defensive woes all on Steph. This move makes more sense if it were part of a larger move by Isiah intended to send a message to the team during a game that they would have been hard pressed to win even if they were playing well. Still, even if one were to give Isiah the benefit of the doubt regarding his intention there hasn't been a plan executed this poorly since Cobra Commander and Destro thought they could take over the world by controlling the weather.

All of that being said, there are number of ways in which the team could be better off with lesser players in Marbury's spot and we'll get into that later today.

1 comment:

pat john and charles said...

Its hard for me to say i don't love steph but he does a lot of things that almost make it seem he wants the fans to not like him. New Yorkers wanna love him but his passion on the both ends of the court is inconsistent at best. Also, towards the end of the year, he really was trying to be a team leader but this isn't good. Mardy will be a great point guard, but Steph is the Knicks point guard right now and this situation has to be resolved if the knicks are making a run this year.